UPDATE: Wrong signs installed before Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop

2:02 PM: Two weeks ago, we reported that SDOT told a City Council committee the Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop from 35 mph to 30 mph would happen “soon.”

Now we have a date: Tomorrow. And a reader just called to say that signage is going up – we’re off to check.

SDOT originally planned to reduce speed limits on five West Seattle arterials, including Harbor, by the end of 2015, but the changes have been rolling out more slowly.

2:50 PM: Down here on Harbor, all the signage we’re seeing so far says 25 mph, not 30 as announced. We’re checking with SDOT.

4:08 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero just confirmed to WSB that those are the wrong signs: “We are redirecting a crew to install the proper signs, which will be 30 mph, before the end of the day today.”

P.S. This isn’t the first mistake involving speed-limit signs in our area – remember the “20 HPM” signs two years ago?

10:36 PM: We went back to Harbor Avenue to check:

17 Replies to "UPDATE: Wrong signs installed before Harbor Avenue SW speed-limit drop"

  • Swede. May 25, 2017 (2:21 pm)

    If I recall correctly the speed limit is (was/have?) going to be lowered in the whole city. 35 to 30 and 30 to 25mph citywide. 

    Will get passed by bicyclists going up Admiral! 

    • JanS May 26, 2017 (10:50 am)

      ya know, I have no problem (nor does my car) going 30 mph up Admiral Hill….. we must drive different kinds of vehicles.

  • JIm May 25, 2017 (2:24 pm)

    Oh man, it’s already like a Parade every time I drive home. Wish drivers would just look ahead and drive rather than looking at the city!

  • Marty May 25, 2017 (2:49 pm)

    What is a 5mph reduction supposed to accomplish?

  • Old Friend May 25, 2017 (3:00 pm)

    Lower speed limit is good in theory but only matters if SPD enforces it. This is sad to say, but SDOT has to continually spend money redesigning and “channeling” streets to slow drivers down because there is no enforcement and the safety issues created from speeding. Example 35th Ave.  I’ve learned over the last ten years in Seattle the posted speed limit is more of a “friendly suggestion” then actual limit.   

    • ts May 25, 2017 (5:01 pm)

      So true. Signs aren’t the answer. It’s painfully obvious people don’t know laws and or ignore signs. Look at how people park and how they ignore speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights, etc.

    • JanS May 26, 2017 (10:47 am)

      well, gosh, golly, gee…if the drivers would stop thinking that they are more important than the speed limit, and just obey them, no one would have to scream about SPD not enforcing them, huh. There IS that part to the equation. Oh, and lets make cars that go 110 mph without blinking. Or more…

  • Mark May 25, 2017 (5:15 pm)

    SDoT fails to adhere to national standards,the appropriate safest speed limit is one that most drivers respect.  Calming traffic is best solved via geometric design.  Signage is not effective, the City’s own study showed this.  SDoT continues to ignore data that does not suit the answer they want, heads should roll!

    600 motorists turn right onto Avalon from Fauntleroy and they are proposing to remove the existing right turn channelization?  This channelization is off the charts warranted, but SDoT is ignoring the data.

    • Jort May 27, 2017 (12:29 am)

      Hi Mark,

      Sorry, in the new world of traffic engineering, the drivers don’t get to set whatever speed limit they think is most appropriate for themselves. In fact, we set speed limits lower because there are direct correlations between road safety and lower speed limits, often times dramatically so. 

      The right turn channelization ation is an example of “old-timey, living in the past” road engineering. It is designed solely to make it easier to drive, and that driving convenience decreases the safety of pedestrians and cyclists attempting to navigate the same intersection. It’s funny that you mention that roads must be calmed using “geometric design,” yet you advocate so strongly for a Fauntleroy road design that is “geometrically designed” to cause greater injuries to pedestrians and cyclists at that intersection.

      By the way, “national standards” is certainly an evolving benchmark, particularly in cities that have adopted “safety first, not car first” philosophies like Vision Zero. Standards change, and thankfully they’re changing in Seattle too. 

  • TheKing May 25, 2017 (7:50 pm)

    What I am seeing on 35th since the lane and speed reduction is drivers are more prone to running a red light. This is happening out of the frustration knowing it is a parking lot from Morgan to Roxbury. I’ve seen more drivers fed up with the do gooder types who enjoy driving 18mph and having a control over the 35 vehicles behind them, more people are starting to use the center lane to pass. As the region continues to grow dropping speed limits and reducing lanes is a strange agenda. 

    • JanS May 26, 2017 (10:49 am)

      so what would be a good speed for you between Morgan and Roxbury? 40? 50? What would you like to see? Minimum arterial speeds 55mph? too little? too much? 

    • Jort May 27, 2017 (12:35 am)

      If drivers are getting unbelievable road rage at having to drive a little slower, then they need to stop driving altogether. They are not welcome on our roads. 

  • Mark May 26, 2017 (5:10 pm)

    35 MPH on 35th is appropriate

  • Jort May 27, 2017 (9:28 am)

    If “enforcement” of speed limits is the issue, then I’m sure that everybody would be fine with automated radar-based speed cameras installed every other block, which send automatic increasing financial and insurance penalties to anybody who speeds. Right?

    Most people like to think speeding is OK — as long as they don’t get caught or if they manage to weasel their way out of a ticket. 

    That’s why I like the idea of speed enforcement cameras automatically sending penalties. It would definitely help with this supposed holy grail of “enforcement.”

    By the way, some cities (Los Angeles) are testing a program in which roadway radar speed sensors will trigger a red light at the next intersection if somebody is speeding. I think this is an awesome idea and I hope Seattle will replicate it.

    • WSB May 27, 2017 (9:31 am)

      This reminds me of something SW Precinct police often say when enforcement comes up at community meetings … when they do it, most of the people who get ticketed are people who live nearby.

  • Joanna May 28, 2017 (2:41 pm)

    I wish drivers would not rush into the far right lane at the same area that traffic is moving in from the Delridge on-ramp. People are so self involved and in such a hurry to get over to the 99 and dont have the capacity to see they have alot of room ahead and cause the cluster flock. That goes for participants from the on ramp too, who think they must stop to get over to the left two lanes as if they will lose points for being in a lane too long. It creates Cluster flocking!

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